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Candy Review: BrightSpot Gimme Chocolate Candies

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Gimme Chocolate

Healthy candy is an oxymoron to me. It’s not that healthy food tastes bad, but rather that there’s little in candy that can be deemed nutritious. But after dark chocolate was discovered to contain some of the highest concentration of antioxidants, candy began to be repackaged with a healthier spin.

These days, it’s not unusual to see a bag of gummies touting they’re filled with “antioxidants;” that’s a brilliant marketing ploy that really means there’s vitamin C, most likely in the form of ascorbic acid, in there. And though something that has vitamin C in it seems healthy, you ingest more than enough in your everyday diet, as evidenced by the few cases of scurvy we hear about.

At the All Candy Expo, it was impossible to saunter by a booth trying to sell snake oil with claims of why their product was so healthy. It has pomegranate! Made with real fruit juice! No artificial flavors! Only 100 calories! I like candy, but I’m very skeptical about eating it when I’m being fooled into eating it for the wrong reasons.

There was one seemingly odd exception to this rule. When I approached the BrightSpot booth, a small candy company based in Chicago, they began trying to extol the virtues of their candy. I seemed pretty blase about their speech until I heard words like “probiotics.” I was definitely intrigued and curious when I was given a bag of each of their Gimmie Chocolate Candies.

Gimme Calcium

Crisp rice puffs in real milk chocolate and sealed in a candy shell.

Gimme Calcium: These taste very much like malt balls, which is an important disclaimer since I pretty much don’t like malt balls. They have a very nice crunch, firm, not hard to bite into, but slightly marred by a chalky center. The chocolate isn’t too strong or sweet. Had I not known beforehand, I would have never guessed there was calcium in these, which is supposedly a result of BrightSpot using TruCal as their choice to infuse some nutrition without sacrificing taste.

Each bag has 50% of your daily allotment of calcium, which is rather impressive (side note, for those who are planning to consume these regularly, please make sure you are not overdosing on calcium via a daily vitamin or fortification of food… your kidneys and gallbladder will thank you). I think these would taste a lot yummier to me if I liked malt balls, so those who do will most likely enjoy these a great deal. Still, they were pretty tasty given my proclivities.

Gimme Omega 3

Crisp rice puffs dipped in dark chocolate infused with omega-3 and sealed in a candy shell.

Gimme Omega-3: So I hate it when people say “Omega-3.” The term is “omega-3 fatty acid” because it’s a specific type of nutrient. That would be my first correction for this candy. The second would be to make it taste good. This is exactly what candy should not taste like. It’s hard to describe, but I think “planty” is sufficient, as in I feel like I’m eating grass, which is pretty harsh coming from a vegetarian.

One of the problems is that the sweet factor is not indicative of dark chocolate, but instead of carob. I despise carob, finding it sweet but not in a delicious way. Also, I get the appeal of flax seeds, the omega-3 component, but flax seeds do not taste the same a flax seeds ground into chocolate. Why would anyone want to take an innocent piece of chocolate and put that awful stuff in I don’t know. Finally, the shell is made with turmeric. I adore turmeric, say in curry, but not candy. Don’t care if they say it’s negligible on the tongue, I taste it! My throat closed off after a few pieces and refused to consume the rest of the bag.

Gimme Probiotic

Crisp rice puffs dipped in dark chocolate infused with probiotics and sealed in a candy shell.

Gimme Probiotics: So what is a probiotic? Essentially, it’s a bacterium that lives in your intestines. Sounds great for candy, right? Actually, probiotics are very important for our health and we consume them in a variety of forms, most notably yogurt. As for taste, these pieces contain the refined dark chocolate flavor that the omega-3 missed. They weren’t overly flavorful, but flavored enough to be satisfying with a subtle taste of chocolate and a nice crunch. These were my favorite.

Omega-3 aside, the Gimme Calcium and Probiotics are pretty amazing for the healthy candy realm. However, there is a disclaimer to that. Outside of the healthy candy realm, these are just middle of the pack.

The idea of reaching for a bag of candy for nutrition is ridiculous. You are much better served by eating a piece of fruit. The premise of these is that if you’re going to eat candy, it might as well have some nutrition. Well, my philosophy is I am going to eat well in general, so when I reach for a bag of candy, it doesn’t have to be healthy. I can enjoy it for the calorically empty but delicious treat it is.

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